Thursday, August 26, 2010


I've decided I'm giving myself a rest day. I'm going to see Inception, which sounds like a fantastic film that should transport me from reality ~ well, at least for a few hours. Around about this time the day after tomorrow I'll be in the throws of moving ~ the plan is, I take a directorial role of the two men employed to move things out of the apartment, all the while I'll be vacuuming and cleaning each room as it's cleared. I've learnt a good lesson from this whole moving experience: 'Don't hoard things'. Get rid of those pieces of paper and other little things that you think you will use and never do. Discard clothing you haven't worn for two seasons. Ask yourself why you need more than two vases, soup ladles, etc. Novels, once read, can be given away. Rice, flour, lentils and other long life foodstuffs should be thrown out after six months of storage. God, I sound like one of those 1950's good-housekeeping journals, but come to think of it people knew how to live then. I wondered why my grand-mother was always sorting through her supplies cupboard; she had one that was always filled with tinned food, I think a left-over mentality of living through the Great Depression. But my generation, two generations after her, use half a packet of pasta and then buy another one, often forgetting the remains tucked away in the cupboard. I aspire now to be more organised. I guess with all the intellectual work that I've been doing over the past years that domestic concerns have gone astray; I was just happy with general cleaning and that's about it. Actually, one of the greatest things I learnt from my grand-mother who brought me up, was related to 'making do', which basically means to make ends meet. Like many others I've been wasteful in my life, but in the past two decades I've learnt to use left-overs and be quite frugal with money. The other day I gave away both of my Henry Handel-Richardson novels and I remembered reading in one of them that during the Great Depression many wealthy people often tried to keep up the facade of being well-off, even though they had sold off all the furniture and carpet in their large houses. They suffered because their quality of life was always a lot better than the poor and having to live off potato soup in a cold, empty house was not their idea of a good time. On the other hand those who generally lived within modest means came up with ingenious ways in order to adjust to hard times. I've been prompted to think about all of this because I spent a lot of my life in Hawthorn and have childhood memories of the stories that my grand-mother told me about the depression. Perhaps all of this thinking is a way for me to return to finishing my novel, indeed, towards an inception of my new life.

No comments:

Post a Comment